VESSEL REVIEW | Sophie Germain – France’s Orange Marine acquires cable-layer

VESSEL REVIEW | Sophie Germain – France’s Orange Marine acquires cable-layer

Photo: Stefan

French subsea company Orange Marine has taken delivery of a new cable-laying vessel built by Colombo Dockyard of Sri Lanka.

The vessel has been named Sophie Germain in honour of a famed 19th century French mathematician, physicist, and philosopher. It was designed by Norway’s Vard Design in compliance to Bureau Veritas standards and French flag requirements. The newbuild is also the second Vard-designed vessel to join the Orange Marine fleet after the 2014-built cable-laying and repair ship Pierre de Fermat.

Sophie Germain is specially designed for the maintenance of submarine cables, both fibre-optic telecommunication cables and inter-array power cables used in offshore wind farms. Vard developed the vessel design according to Orange Marine’s operating requirements with special attention to ensuring that the hull form delivers enhanced seakeeping capabilities and low fuel consumption. The vessel also boasts exceptional manoeuvrability.

Photo: Sameera

The vessel has a length of 100 metres, a beam of 18.8 metres, a depth of 7.15 metres, a deadweight of 1,800, accommodations for 76 personnel, and three cable tanks including one fitted with a carousel system.

The hybrid diesel-electric propulsion system includes generators and a Corvus Orca Energy 497kWh battery. The entire propulsion arrangement can produce six MW to deliver a speed of 14.5 knots. The hybrid configuration will also reduce the number of generators used while maintaining the redundancy needed for the safe maintenance of cables if a generator shuts down unexpectedly. The battery immediately shoulders the load of the failed generator while reducing the vessel’s fuel consumption.

To reduce NOx emissions, the vessel has a selective catalytic reduction system. When at berth, it can plug into the local grid via a shore power connection to reduce reliance on the onboard generators. As is the case with the other vessels in the Orange Marine fleet, the generators on Sophie Germain are designed to run on low-sulphur diesel to further reduce emissions.

The vessel is designed to stay out at sea for 35 days thanks in part to a freshwater supply of around 400 cubic metres as well as onboard desalination plants. A Melcal heavy duty crane is meanwhile fitted on the aft deck.

Photo: Vard Design

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Sophie Germain
Type of vessel: Cable-laying vessel
Classification: Bureau Veritas
Flag: France
Owner: Orange Marine, France
Designer: Vard Design, Norway
Builder: Colombo Dockyard, Sri Lanka
Length overall: 100 metres
Beam: 18.8 metres
Depth: 7.15 metres
Deadweight tonnage: 1,800
Maximum speed: 14.5 knots
Batteries: Corvus Orca Energy, 497 kWh
Crane: Melcal
Other equipment installed: Selective catalytic reduction system
Type of fuel: Diesel
Freshwater capacity: 400 cubic metres
Crew: 76

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